In the Pits- KSR
Schrader, BHR working out the kinks
The San Bernardino County 200 was Ken Schrader’s 70th NASCAR Crafts-man Truck Series career start, but only his second NCTS race at the California Speedway—eight years after his first. A week earlier, Schrader made his first NCTS start at Daytona. Suffice it to say, the first two NCTS races of the season presented a bit of a learning process for the 51-year-old Schrader, one of the most experienced drivers on the NASCAR Cup circuit. In both races, Schrader piloted the No. 18 Fastenal Dodge Ram for Bobby Hamilton Racing.
Schrader, a longtime friend of the late Bobby Hamilton Sr., jumped at the opportunity to drive the BHR truck this past off-season. While Schrader is a newcomer to the BHR team, he fits right in, according to crew chief Jeff White.
“I really like working with Ken as a driver,” White said before the California race. “I really don’t know him much, so I’m calling him ‘sir’ and he’s calling me ‘sir,’ so we’re really getting along. It has been a lot of fun. The thing that makes Kenny so great is that he’s a racer’s racer. He’s raced about everything there is, he has insight into what he wants and what he’s feeling, he knows what he wants in the vehicle. He says, ‘Here’s what it’s doing,’ and I’m pretty good at figuring out how to get it there on the engineering or mechanical side.
“I think we make a great team,” White continued. “I worked with Bobby Sr. for many years, and I am finding out that working with Schrader is so much like working with him it is spooky. I really think the two of them are a whole lot alike.”
White says Schrader, like Bobby Hamilton Sr., has a great sense of humor and remains calm under pressure. “The only difference is I worked for Bobby and Schrader’s driving for us,” White added. “But I will work just as hard with Schrader as I did with Bobby.”
“I was thrilled when Bobby asked me to drive his truck,” Schrader said. “You always want to do good anyway, but now you want to do good for Bobby—and for all of the guys at BHR—because most of them have been with him for a long time, and they’ve been through a lot of stuff recently.”
Schrader’s career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series stats now include 70 starts, one win, one pole, six top-five finishes and 25 top 10 finishes.
Following California, Schrader participated in the Nextel Cup Car of Tomorrow Test at the Bristol Motor Speedway before heading to Montana for some snowmobiling fun during a rare break in the NASCAR schedule. Schrader drives the No. 21 car for the Wood Brothers on NASCAR’s premier circuit.